Certificate in Languages

The Certificate in Languages allows you to study one or two foreign languages. You can combine language study with enrolment in any degree and graduate with an additional qualification, or take it as a standalone qualification.

Students in Arts 1

Knowledge of another language is useful in many careers. You can add to your skills, distinguish yourself from other graduates and enhance your career opportunities.

Language knowledge can add depth and context to your study of other subjects. It can also be an advantage for postgraduate study and research.

Languages available

Chinese, Cook Islands Maori, Egyptian, French, German, Ancient Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, MāoriRussian, Samoan, Spanish, Tongan.

You may study one or two languages for the CertLang. Note that courses may not always be available in all languages.


The CertLang is taken part-time and is equivalent to one semester of full-time study. You would normally take it concurrently with enrolment in a degree. The time you take to complete will depend on how you structure your enrolment.

Planning your Certificate in Languages

Your CertLang must include: Courses/points
60 points 4 courses (15 point each)
One or two languages Language courses chosen from those available for the CertLang
Courses at more advanced levels Courses above Stage I: at least 2

You have considerable flexibility as to how you structure your study. It may be possible to obtain 15 points credit towards this qualification, including a General Education course.

Sample Certificate in Languages structure

You will combine courses for the Certificate in Languages with study for a degree. You can study one or two languages, and half your courses must be above Stage I. There are many possible ways you could structure your study, depending on how long you want to take to complete.

Note that the following are examples only and there are many possible patterns of study.

Example 1


Example 2


Choosing your courses

Selected language courses are available for the CertLang. You must choose your courses from those listed in the schedule for the Certificate in Languages

Enrolling in language courses

You must enrol in the appropriate course for your level of competency. Some language courses are for beginners, while others are for more advanced learners or native speakers. Read the course description and if necessary seek advice from an Undergraduate Adviser.

Language study involves following a progressive sequence of courses, so check course prerequisites when planning your study. You may also have to meet co-requisites, i.e. concurrent enrolment in two specified courses.

Enrolment limits
The University limits how many points you can enrol in per year and per semester. You may enrol in up to 170 points in an academic year. Within this limit, you can take:

  • up to 80 points in each of Semesters One and Two, and
  • up to 30 points in Summer School.

Language Ability Declaration

If you want to study a modern language you must submit a Language Ability Declaration. This tells us about your background (if any) in the language and ensures you take the right course/s. You may also need to sit a placement test.

Learn more about first time enrolment in language courses

Concurrent postgraduate enrolment

If you are studying towards a postgraduate qualification, you must obtain permission from your faculty to enrol in a CertLang alongside your postgraduate programme.

How to apply

See our information for future undergraduates on how to apply.